South Korean Crypto Exchange Launches Ripple-Based Blockchain Remittance Service

Coinone subsidiary Coinone Transfer has introduced Cross, South Korea’s first blockchain-based remittance app and web service, using enterprise blockchain technology created by Ripple. Cross gives people in Thailand and the Philippines access to faster and cheaper payment services. Coinone Transfer utilized RippleNet and connections with the Siam Commercial Bank (Thailand) and Cebuana Lhuillier (Philippines) to

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Bullion Giant APMEX Partners with BitPay to Let Investors Buy Gold with Bitcoin

Global crypto payment provider BitPay has announced the OneGold precious metals and digital gold marketplace is now accepting Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, according to a press release. OneGold — founded by APMEX, a leading precious metals retailer, and Sprott, an alternative asset manager — is focused on giving investors the ability to combine the “key

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Crucial Vote Pushes Marshall Islands Closer to a National Cryptocurrency

The president of the Marshall Islands survived a no-confidence vote after senators derided her plan to launch a national cryptocurrency. The nation is moving forward with the endeavor despite criticism from the IMF.


Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine looks to have a clear mandate to keep pushing forward with her proposed state-backed cryptocurrency after navigating through a no-confidence vote.

Reporting by the Nikkei Asian Review says the island’s head of state survived since parliament was in a 16-16 deadlock over the decision. Her opponents were one vote short of toppling her from the presidency. The decision to vote came after a collective of eight senators accused Heine, who has been president since 2016, of damaging the nation’s reputation with the idea of a national cryptocurrency.

An Innovative Vision For a National Cryptocurrency

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Heine’s goal is to introduce a virtual currency dubbed the ‘Sovereign’ to the Marshall Islands, while giving an equivalent status to the United States Dollar.

March, officials said they teamed up with an Israeli company called Neema to issue 24 million Sovereigns. At the time, half of the coins were set to go to the government and six million would be available for global investors. Officials in the Marshall Islands were reportedly interested in a state cryptocurrency after Neema said the endeavor could net at least $30 million.

Funds raised due to global investment in the Sovereign would go towards projects related to anti-global warming and be distributed to people affected by U.S. nuclear testing on the island, according to Deutsche Welle.

Bitcoinist reported that same month how the Sovereign would have a framework that would see user identities be known on the blockchain so funds could be easily verified.

Officials hoped people in the nation would use the Sovereign for a variety of tasks, including for the payment of taxes and the purchase of groceries.

Crypto Assets May One Day Reduce Demand for Central Bank Money

Remaining Resolute Amid Global Pressure   

Heine has welcomed the digital currency as a “historic moment for our people” and has referred to it as “…another step of manifesting our national liberty.”

Leaders in the Marshall Islands have expressed complaints and concerns about a lack of currency controls. This is especially so since the bulk of their revenue comes through aid from the United States, as well as tuna fish licensing paid in U.S. Dollars.

Heine’s futuristic financial vision attracted the attention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which released a report in September that warned the country against launching the cryptocurrency.

The IMF said the issuance of a digital currency “[…] would increase macroeconomic and financial integrity risks, and elevate the risk of losing the last U.S. dollar correspondent banking relationship.”

Marshall Islands Finance Minister Brenson Wase said after the no-confidence vote the government would push forward with the virtual currency and will wait to meet requirements from the IMF, Europe, and the United States.

What do you think about Marshall Islands’ plan for the ‘Sovereign’ cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Twitter (@iamjosephyoung), Wikimedia Commons.

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Shifty Principle Uses School Computers to Craft a Crypto Mining Scheme

A Middle School principle in China was fired after staffers uncovered a cryptocurrency mining scheme utilizing school computers.


Local media in China have begun to write about a foiled cryptocurrency mining scheme organized by the principal of Puman Middle School. The man utilized school computers for the task.

According to reporting from the BBC, Lei Hua was fired after other staff members discovered that he installed eight mining machines in the school between summer 2017 and summer 2018.

The South China Morning Post wrote reported that Lei was originally mining Ethereum inside of his home in June 2017. He soon decided to move his operation to the Hunan Province school in order to save money on electricity.

What’s Coooking?

Local Chinese media said that teachers began to feel suspicions when they noticed the school’s internet was slowing down. On top of that, reports of loud noises that continued without stopping were also brought to light.

After an employee inquired about large increases in energy consumption, Lei reportedly attributed the jump to “[…] too much use of school air conditioners and grills.”

Teachers who had enough of the nuisance searched the premises, discovering the mining operation.

The school’s vice-principal, Wang Zhipeng, allegedly bought another machine and installed it in the school. According to the South China Morning Post, the electricity bill for the mining scheme totaled roughly $2,120.

Lei was removed from his position of the school late last month, losing his position as a Communist Party branch secretary. Wang was not fired but received a warning for his actions.

The mined cryptocurrency was reportedly taken by the local Commission for Discipline Inspection. What may happen with the money remains unclear.

Schools Become a Lucrative Spot for Mining Ops

The allure of free electricity means that mining within schools is an enticing endeavor for students and professionals alike.

In April, MarketWatch wrote about a Western Kentucky University freshman who made $30 a week by leaving his Bitmain Antminer rig continously plugged in.

A survey released by Vectra around the same time indicated that 60% of mining traffic originated from computers with college or university-lined IP addresses.

Some schools, like Stanford, have taken explicit steps to ban cryptocurrency mining on university grounds. Stanford released a blog post in late January banning mining activities on the grounds that “Stanford resources must not be used for personal financial gain.”

Stanford University

A recent article told the story of two teenagers who started to hack into school computers in 7th grade in order to bypass internet filters to watch YouTube.

The duo’s two-year scheme saw them gaining access to grades, passwords, phone numbers, and gave them the ability to use district servers to mine virtual currency.

The students were expelled after being caught and sent to the county sheriff’s office. Some think their talent and interest in computers and cybersecurity should be redirected instead of punished.

What do you think about Lei Hua’s school mining scheme? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, HK01, Shutterstock.

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Principle Fired for Mining Cryptocurrency at a School in China

A Middle School principle in China was fired after staffers uncovered a cryptocurrency mining scheme utilizing school computers.


Local media in China have begun to write about a foiled cryptocurrency mining scheme organized by the principal of Puman Middle School. The man utilized school computers for the task.

According to reporting from the BBC, Lei Hua was fired after other staff members discovered that he installed eight mining machines in the school between summer 2017 and summer 2018.

The South China Morning Post wrote reported that Lei was originally mining Ethereum inside of his home in June 2017. He soon decided to move his operation to the Hunan Province school in order to save money on electricity.

What’s Coooking?

Local Chinese media said that teachers began to feel suspicions when they noticed the school’s internet was slowing down. On top of that, reports of loud noises that continued without stopping were also brought to light.

After an employee inquired about large increases in energy consumption, Lei reportedly attributed the jump to “[…] too much use of school air conditioners and grills.”

Teachers who had enough of the nuisance searched the premises, discovering the mining operation.

The school’s vice-principal, Wang Zhipeng, allegedly bought another machine and installed it in the school. According to the South China Morning Post, the electricity bill for the mining scheme totaled roughly $2,120.

Lei was removed from his position of the school late last month, losing his position as a Communist Party branch secretary. Wang was not fired but received a warning for his actions.

The mined cryptocurrency was reportedly taken by the local Commission for Discipline Inspection. What may happen with the money remains unclear.

Schools Become a Lucrative Spot for Mining Ops

The allure of free electricity means that mining within schools is an enticing endeavor for students and professionals alike.

In April, MarketWatch wrote about a Western Kentucky University freshman who made $30 a week by leaving his Bitmain Antminer rig continously plugged in.

A survey released by Vectra around the same time indicated that 60% of mining traffic originated from computers with college or university-lined IP addresses.

Some schools, like Stanford, have taken explicit steps to ban cryptocurrency mining on university grounds. Stanford released a blog post in late January banning mining activities on the grounds that “Stanford resources must not be used for personal financial gain.”

Stanford University

A recent article told the story of two teenagers who started to hack into school computers in 7th grade in order to bypass internet filters to watch YouTube.

The duo’s two-year scheme saw them gaining access to grades, passwords, phone numbers, and gave them the ability to use district servers to mine virtual currency.

The students were expelled after being caught and sent to the county sheriff’s office. Some think their talent and interest in computers and cybersecurity should be redirected instead of punished.

What do you think about Lei Hua’s school mining scheme? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, HK01, Shutterstock.

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Cryptopia Restores Bank Support: NZ Dollar Token to Relaunch in 2019

New Zealand

The New Zealand dollar token (NZDT) is set to be re-released early next year after it was suspended by the New-Zealand based Cryptopia exchange in late 2017.


Local media in New Zealand recently reported the New Zealand dollar token (NZDT) will be re-released in early 2019.

The NZDT is the first virtual currency token to be tethered to the New Zealand dollar. It was originally launched in May 2017 after investors expressed a desire to have a safe way to use New Zealand banking entities to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

Issued by Cryptopia, an exchange based in Christchurch, the NZDT was suspended later in the year after the exchange’s bank, ASB, became worried about regulation and customer identification.

In January 2018, the New Zealand Herald reported that ASB decided to close Cryptopia’s account in a surprise move, leaving the exchange little time to state their case and pass on supporting documentation.

tether

A Fear of the Unknown Worked out Well

Adam Lyness of Cryptopia told Newsroom that the NZDT was pieced together during a blockchain conference in 2017 with the mantra of ‘ask forgiveness, not permission.’

He said transactions totaled in the hundreds of thousands of dollars each day in just a few months.

The rapid rise in popularity for the token drew the concern of Cryptopia’s bank, who was inclined to shut down the operation in order to avoid negative headlines.

Lyness noted the exchange is getting set to re-launch the NZDT in Q1 2019 after securing the services of a smaller bank. He also remarked how interactions with government officials and regulators have not been hostile since many of them are curious about the re-launch.

Continued Interest in a New Zealand Cryptocurrency

Crypto tax expert Campbell Pentney explained how having an NZ dollar entry point into cryptocurrency related projects could inspire residents of the country to invest their funds into different endeavors.

Just a few months ago, professors at the University of Auckland argued that New Zealand’s Reserve Bank needs to create and trial a cryptocurrency to legitimize the industry alongside the New Zealand dollar.

The report’s authors said their country was falling behind others in fostering a thriving digital currency industry.

Other recommendations included providing consumers with better information so they could have a clearer grasp on cryptocurrencies, and for regulators to collaborate with companies on building a ‘regulatory sandbox’ for virtual currencies.

What do are your thoughts on the re-release of the NZDT? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pexels, Shutterstock.

The post Cryptopia Restores Bank Support: NZ Dollar Token to Relaunch in 2019 appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Pro-Bitcoin Congressman Jared Polis is Colorado’s New Governor

Colorado jared polis

U.S. Representative Jared Polis, known for his favorable attitudes towards cryptocurrency and blockchain, will become Colorado’s next governor after defeating Walker Stapleton.


U.S. Representative Jared Polis (D-CO), who has made headlines for his pro-cryptocurrency and blockchain stances, has defeated Colorado state Treasurer Walker Stapleton to become the new governor.

Governor-elect Polis has become well-known across the cryptocurrency world for his interest and support of the industry.

Part of his campaign platform focused on the benefits of blockchain for companies in Colorado. He has also worked in the halls of Congress on industry-friendly endeavors.

Touting the Benefits of Blockchain

Bitcoinist has previously reported on the blockchain aspect of Polis’ gubernatorial platform. In the summer, Polis published a few action steps on his campaign website that detailed ideas of blockchain integration into state affairs.

Polis looks to collaborate with Colorado officials and use blockchain technology to improve municipal and county elections. He also aims to build a “statewide safe harbor designed to exempt cryptocurrencies from state money transmissions laws.”

According to Polis, this idea and its associated legislation would protect “open blockchain tokens.” This could help Colorado entice innovative companies to move to the state and engage freely “without the licensing requirements of the multitude of securities and currency laws.”

Other policy ideas included the exploration of blockchain-based energy solutions, along with the possible use of public ledgers to foster transparency for government records.

Polis emphasized how his overall goal was to “establish Colorado as a national hub for blockchain innovation in business and government.”

A Crusader in Congress

Before focusing his time on running for governor, Polis was a staunch and vocal advocate for cryptocurrency and blockchain during his time as a U.S. Representative.

Back in 2014, the then-Congressman called for a ban on the U.S. Dollar in a satirical response to a letter from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who called for a Bitcoin ban.

Polis was also a co-founder of the Congressional Blockchain Congress, which is described as being dedicated to “[…] the advancement of sound public policy toward blockchain-based technologies and digital currencies.” The entity was officially announced in February 2017.

Late last year, Polis, alongside Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ) introduced the Cryptocurrency Tax Fairness Act of 2017.

The idea of the legislation was to allow consumers to “make small purchases with cryptocurrency up to $600 without burdensome reporting requirements, according to a news release from Polis’ office.

The Act was offered as an amendment to the House tax reform bill in mid-November but was not adopted.

Is Jared Polis’ congressional victory a win for Bitcoin? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Jared Polis (Facebook), Twitter

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Lawsuit Filed Against Rapper T.I. for Participation in Alleged Cryptocurrency Scam

According to reports, a group of 25 investors have filed a lawsuit against T.I. and a businessman for their involvement in a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme.


Rapper T.I. and businessman Ryan Felton now face a lawsuit from a collective of 25 investors who said the duo peddled a digital currency that was a get-rich-quick scheme.

According to TMZ, the rapper and businessman came up with a virtual currency called FLiK Token in August 2017.

Investors said they were convinced to pour $1.3 million into the cryptocurrency, with a token price of six cents each.

Felton reportedly told investors the virtual currency would have a price of $14.99 within 15 months.

Multiple plaintiffs said the token price jumped from 6 to 21 cents, but crashed downward to less than a penny each by August 2018.

An Elaborate Scheme

The lawsuit suggested the two boosted the token price with investor cash.

When asked about why the value plummeted, Felton reportedly said the decrease came after T.I. gave tokens to family and friends, who then sold them in mass amounts.

Investors said Felton hyped up the offering by claiming big investors were behind the token, and allegedly hinted billionaire Mark Cuban was getting involved.

Felton is also accused of creating a new company that acquired FLiK, and then denied being associated with it.

Actor Kevin Hart promoted FLiK on social media, but he is not involved in the lawsuit, which is seeking at least $5 million from T.I. and Felton.

Cryptocurrency a Popular Topic For Rappers

Cryptocurrencies, for better or for worse, seem to have found a home inside of the rap community.

Back in February, rapper ‘Nipsey Hussle’ expressed great promise for cryptocurrency and blockchain. He said the “real boom” would take place once retail “accepts it as a form of payment.”

The rapper, who started investing in Bitcoin back in 2013, compared blockchain to the internet in terms of its revolutionary status in the technology field.

Soujla Boy expressed his love for cryptocurrencies on his new album “Young Drako,” and titled one of the tracks “Bitcoin.” In the song, he indicated he has Bitcoin and Litecoin, virtual currencies that are “my favorite ones.”

Soulja Boy

Another rapper, ‘The Game,’ has not had as much luck when it comes to the world of cryptocurrency.

Bitcoinist reported in September how his backed project, Paragon, had lost 96% of its market capitalization.

The idea of the project was to utilize blockchain to hash out legality issues related to cannabis in the United States.

What do you think about the lawsuit involving T.I.? Let us know in the comments!


Images courtesy of Twitter (@Tip), Bitcoinist archives 

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Student Turns $5K into $800K Trading Crypto, But Now Owes $400K in Taxes

Bitcoin taxes cryptocurrency

One college student turned his $5K investment into $880k but now says trading “ruined” his life as he’s facing $400k in cryptocurrency taxes. 


From Big Profits to a Tax Nightmare

An anonymous college student recently posted on Reddit to solicit advice about what to do while they face a massive tax bill in the wake of cryptocurrency trading.

According to the post, the student, who lives in California, put $5,000 into Coinbase last year after a friend said they were investing in Ethereum 00.

After “hitting 10x’altcoinsiple alt coins,” the college crypto-trader eventually turned the $5k investment “all the way up to an $880,000 portfolio in December 2017.”

Big downturns with digital currency prices, and gambling “in more than a few bad ICOs to start 2018,” has led to a current portfolio value of $125k.

However, the “clueless college kid” now worries if their life is over because they are facing an estimated 2017 tax liability of around 400k.

Didn’t Know About Cryptocurrency Taxes

In the post, the student admits they neglected to allocate money for taxes because “they really never do teach this stuff.”

The post came with an accompanying link to the 1099-K Coinbase reported in the spring.

According to the student, all of the activity was crypto-to-crypto trades, and they did not “ever cash out to fiat and transfer any USD into my bank accounts from these tradings.”

Writing under a throwaway account, the college student asked the Reddit community for advice because they have not paid any taxes or filed returns for 2017, and are working a $12/hr part time job at Barnes & Noble.

Comments on the post were a mixture of pragmatic and grim. One person recommended to get “a tax professional and stop wasting time trying to get free advice.”

South Korea Claims $28M Tax From Bithumb But Finds No 'Illegal Activity'

Another user, who said they have “done a number of cryptocurrency returns” said the situation would “not be a high point in your life, but you will get through it.”

They recommended to stay away from “questionable accounting methods” and to work with an accountant to file a tax return ASAP, with a suggestion to possibly work out an installment agreement, or an Offer in Compromise with relevant authorities.

Crypto Taxation Is A Tricky Subject

Navigating through taxes when it comes to buying and selling cryptocurrencies has been a contentious talking point.

In April, Tom Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors estimated a massive crypto-selloff by the middle of the month would likely lead to a capital gains tax bill of $25 billion for those in the United States.

Around the same time, Bitcoinist reported on a Twitter poll asking respondents in the United States about cryptocurrency taxes. 19% of the 9,339 respondents said they “already filed and paid,” but 53% said “they’ll never catch me.”

Last week, former U.S. Congressman Ron Paul argued in a blog post that exempting transactions in precious metals and cryptocurrencies from taxes would be some of the first steps to “end our monetary madness.”

What would you do if you were the college student facing a looming tax bill? Let us know in the comments below!


Image courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock, Twitter

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HTC Exodus Phones Preparing to Ship in December (With More Questions Than Answers)

HTC Exodus Phones Preparing to Ship in December With More Questions Than Answers

Pre-orders of purchased HTC Exodus phones are set to ship in December. HTC is hyping the technology as a viable tool for the blockchain and cryptocurrency community, but many are still skeptical.


Taiwanese firm HTC Corporation made headlines back in May after announcing plans for the first native blockchain smartphone, dubbed the HTC Exodus.

In October, HTC made the phone available for pre-order with the expectation the first units would ship in December.

Payment was only possible in Bitcoin (BTC) 00 or Ethereum. The company said the phone would be available in 34 countries.

HTC has hyped up the phone by touting the “secure enclave” portion of the device.

The goal of the locked portion is to keep user’s cryptocurrency wallet keys safe, a solution the company hopes is a middle-ground between cold-storage and software wallets. The Exodus will also support underlying protocols like Lightning and Dfinity.

Despite HTC’s intention to craft a device to woo the cryptocurrency and blockchain community, many are still wary about trusting the smartphone.

Others think the phone’s inevitably small market, especially since pre-sales are only carried out with cryptocurrency, is setting it up to fail.

A Ploy To Capture a Niche Market?  

The Exodus has received a lot of attention for its cryptocurrency capabilities, but the phone boasts a number of other impressive specs, according to Wired.

The outlet wrote how the phone has a 6in Quad HD+ display, a Snapdragon 845 processor, dual cameras, and a IP68 waterproof rating. The phone runs  Android Oreo and has 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage.

A look at the website for the HTC Exodus shows a variety of quotes from well-known cryptocurrency figures who have praised the device. Phil Chen of HTC said more than 30 industry leaders advised the phone’s development team at “critical touch points,” according to Wired.

Some speculate the creation of the device is part of a strategy by HTC to push off competition from industry giants like Apple and Samsung.

Not Everyone Is Convinced

Some people, like Lawrence Lundy at Outlier Ventures, see the HTC Exodus as an interesting idea with innovations that represent a move forward.

However, Lundy believes people with big cryptocurrency holdings are still going to use cold-storage wallets, or will opt for a phone like the Finney smartphone from Sirin Labs.

The Problems with Data Storage

Others remain generally skeptical about trusting a phone manufacturer with keeping cryptocurrency safe, especially since everyday investors have a variety of software wallets to choose from.

Speaking to these points, Chen argued, according to Wired, the Exodus safe enclave is “almost on a par with cold storage.” He also said API would be released so people can build and enhance Exodus hardware.

Will you use the HTC Exodus smartphone? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinst archives, Shutterstock.

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